The Town of Blacksburg continues to traverse this difficult time by focusing on the health and safety of our community and planning proactively for how and when we might begin to rise from this current situation. As a member of the New River Valley Public Health Task Force we are proudly collaborating with our friends and colleagues from around the region to determine next steps and best practices, and to ensure that we are doing so with one collective spirit and set of priorities. Formed on March 11, 2020, the Task Force includes representatives from local government, law enforcement and public safety, public information, healthcare, higher education, K-12, and community services. Across the Commonwealth, it is being recognized for setting the standard in collaborative, regional public health and safety during a crisis.
Formed on March 11, 2020, the Task Force includes representatives from local government, law enforcement and public safety, public information, healthcare, higher education, K-12, and community services. Across the Commonwealth, it has set the standard for collaborative, regional public health and safety during a crisis.
Task Force Accomplishments and Kudos to Our Partners (as of May 1, 2020)
- To date over 2000 individuals from throughout the New River Valley have been tested.
- There have been 75 positive tests, a 4.5% positive rate, which is significantly lower than the state and national levels. This is a tribute to the community spirit that exists in the New River Valley and the
collective strength of citizens banding together to protect one another and follow state requirements.
- The VDH information hotline has been an invaluable resource for our citizens to receive information about the pandemic and it is the mechanism for pre-screening and access to testing for all.
- VDH (New River District) uses a robust contact-tracing model to quickly identify citizens who have been in close contact with a positive case. With enhanced testing capability, they have guided isolation and quarantine requirements and ruled out large groups of potentially positive individuals.
- Tracing and testing has been incredibly valuable to our first responder and critical service groups. Our front line workers (all disciplines) are doing an incredible job providing valuable service and doing so in the safest, most professional manner.
- As we begin to see a return to some basic services, the Task Force is building advanced safety procedures. The goal is to continue to mitigate the spread of the virus while supporting all of our citizens, the businesses where they work and shop, schools they attend, and services and recreation that they need and enjoy.
What You Need to Know
Stay at home as much as you can and if you must go out, please take care of yourself and those around you by wearing a mask. Even if you aren’t exhibiting symptoms, a mask is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID 19. As a region we can flatten the curve if we work together and take every possible precaution.
Get The Latest Coronavirus Updates From Cdc.gov
A guide to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.
Take Extra Precautions
Older adults and people with serious medical conditions like chronic lung disease.
What Type of Mask Do I Need
For the general public, paper masks and homemade cloth masks from household items—such as bandanas and scarves—are sufficient and can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
What to do if you are sick?
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider or the Health Department immediately. Do not go to the emergency room or directly to a testing center. The Health Department must issue documentation for entering a testing center. To contact the New River Health District hotline call 540-267-8240.
Can you prevent the illness?
There is no vaccine for COVID-19, but the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure. To keep yourself and your family safe, exercise the following preventative habits:
- Always stay at least six feet from one another.
- Keep gatherings under 10 people. Stick with family members or close friends who are invested in your health.
- Wash your hands frequently, cover your cough, and wear a mask or other covering. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- If you feel sick, stay home.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- In instances when soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
What are the symptoms?
Confirmed COVID-19 infections have had varying symptoms. Common indications include:
- Shortness of breath
Best Practices and Recommendations
Blacksburg is following the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and advising employees and residents to do the same.
This is a new virus and there is still much we do not know. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to these resources:
- Stay at Home Virginia
- New River Valley Public Health Task Force
- Virginia Department of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- Virginia Tech COVID-19
- Montgomery County Public Schools COVID-19
- Information and Links to Helpful Community Resources
- Modified Town of Blacksburg Services and Operations
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